Evaluating key pest and beneficial arthropods in urban community garden sites in the Twin Cities metropolitan area

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2017: $198,529.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2021
Grant Recipient: University of Minnesota
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Nicolas Jelinski
University of Minnesota
While directly managing the flora in community based gardens has a large influence on their growth, other organisms play a key role in their development. Arthropods are an important part of the interactions that take place. Though some are pests, most contribute to the vitality of our productive green areas. These arthropods are considered beneficial, and provide ecosystem services such as pollination, pest management, recycling of nutrients, decomposition of plants and animal waste, and soil aeration. Arthropods also serve as food for fish, birds and other living organisms. Though it is known that aboveground plant diversity contributes to the diversity and abundance of arthropods, this has not been extensively studied in urban, highly-managed areas. In this study, we investigated arthropod diversity across four urban community garden sites in the Twin Cities metro area using pitfall traps, and sticky cards over a four week period during summer, 2018. Our results highlight key pests and beneficial arthropods common to urban community garden sites; the four urban garden sites showed differences in diversity and abundance of ground-dwelling arthropods, such as spiders (Arachnida) and beetles (Coleoptera), and flying beneficial to pest ratio, in which a balance of the ecosystem can be observed. The results also reveal trends based on surrounding plant diversity, and can be used for follow up studies with the goal of improving urban ecosystem functioning by conserving beneficial arthropods.
Conference/Presentation Material
Naomy Candelaria, University of Puerto Rico
Nathan Hecht, University of Minnesota
Kat LaBine, University of Minnesota
Jennifer Nicklay, University of Minnesota
Mary Rogers, University of Minnesota
Target audiences:
Educators; Researchers
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.